Which is best for Web Development Node.js or Ruby-on-Rails?

By | September 22, 2017

NodeJS Vs Ruby

As technology is continuously evolving at breakneck speed and just like most of the areas of business, it is also introducing continuous opportunities and challenges in the field of web development. The main reason behind growing complexity in web development market is that web is constantly transforming from one way of working to other one and that is a great thing. But for a web developer, it is also important to get align with ongoing requirements after all being web developer means being a professional problem solver.

A lot of web development tools, platforms, frameworks and languages are available over the internet in which two most popular are Node.js and Ruby-on-Rails. Both of these are probably creating the biggest fight in development world because it is hard for the developers to choose which one is the right framework for web development.

Maybe five years before the answer of the tile would be Ruby but now things are changing, and we have got a new leader named Node.js.

Let us have a look on who is the winner of the fight. First, know about the pros and cons of both.

Node.js Pros and Cons

Node.js Pros

  • Full package: Either it is access to HTTP server, templating engine or anything else between these, Node.js is a single package for all.
  • Robust Underlying Libraries: libuv is the main library working behind the scene. It easily handles all non-blocking I/O and furthermore is wicket fast and simply awesome.
  • High market demand: js is getting more and more space among startups now.
  • JavaScript manipulation: As Node.js relies heavily on JavaScript, so it is easy to learn
  • Same coding: No need to perform different coding as Node.js allow for the same coding with both client and server side.
  • Vibrant community: Access to vibrant and active community with a large number of codes being shared at multiple platforms like Github, etc.
  • Managing big files: Streaming big files is also easy.

Node.js Cons

  • No-Scalability: Do not offer too much scalability. It is also not capable of scaling out to take advantage of various cores in most of the server-class hardware.
  • Unstable API: It lacks consistency. Its API changes frequently and do not support for backward changes at all.
  • Not time efficient: Development in Node.js requires more time as compared to development in web development tools. The developer needs to code everything from scratch that is too time-consuming
  • Immaturity of tools: Many packages in nmp registry are still in a bad quality. In that area, only the experienced developers can sustain.

Ruby on Rails Pros and Cons

Ruby on Rails Pros

  • User-friendly: It is best known for being flexible, simple and IDE friendly framework.
  • Easy Functioning: It offers easy manipulations and flexible functions
  • Consistency: It is probably the biggest advantage of using Ruby as it is highly consistent with both structure and methodology
  • Database migrations: Ruby is easily portable to any other web development platform.
  • The speed of development: RoR has no match on development speed. The highly powerful module structure, efficient package management system and generator scripts fast the development speed.
  • Best industry standards: As RoR is an opinionated framework that guides the users while doing development.

Ruby on Rails Cons

  • Not for startups: Before using RoR, the developer must be best at programming. Only top-notch programmers can deal with RoR.
  • Documentation: Documentation is available for renowned frameworks only.
  • Run time speed: Although it is super fast once it starts functioning properly but runtime speed is too slow that makes it difficult to scale the RoR based applications
  • Inflexibility: Being an opinionated framework, RoR does not offer too much flexibility. Moreover, it case of a wrong decision in development can result in higher rectification cost.

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Node.js vs. Ruby-on-Rails: Head-to-Head Comparison

Speed of Development

Development speed is the question that comes first to the mind of web developers. Surely, Node.js has no match on development speed. Node.js has the game locked down in development speed. It is easy to develop CRUD based applications, and it does not waste the time of users as well. RoR is also good in development speed, but dependency on modules based structure take too much time of users for a single a solution.

The Learning Curve

Although both are offering tutorials and courses for both startups and professional developers but learning Node.js is comparatively easier than RoR. Node.js learning curve is also many time less than Rails too. RoR is easy to understand for professionals and experienced developers while Node.js is easy for both startups and professionals.


RoR is more secure than Node.js. It offers multiple integrated security enhancement features and demands from developers to just follow the simple process to implement these features. Node.js is comparatively less secure, and its community is not vibrant for updating framework frequently.

Sharing Code

Node.js allows its developers to share their code using nmp packages. Its code repository now contains almost fifty thousand packages for effective solution. RoR support for migrating from one framework to another but do not offer too much support for code sharing at all.

Behavior towards Real-Time Apps

Node.js perform well with data streaming so best for real-time apps development. It is perfect for dealing with non-blocking and event-based server. RoR, on the other hand, is weak in these areas.


RoR is mature, experienced contains more functions, so it is safer and make a visible place in the market. Node.js is new and still need to learn new issues.

Node.js vs. Ruby on Rails: Which One to Choose?

RoR is although experienced and mature framework but the performance of Node.js has raised dramatically over past few years. Node.js has attained a greater position in some areas like simple coding, fast runtime system, code sharing, easy learning, etc. Current job trends in web development also show a decline in demand for RoR and increase in demand for Node.js developers.
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Author Bio:

This post was written by Abdul Hadi, a technology enthusiast, and researcher working with the CitrusBits | a iPhone Apps Development Company LA & San Francisco. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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